In quite possibly the most active season of trading in recent years, the whole NBA seems to have made a trade or two. The most active team has been the New York Knicks.
The Knicks have recently added Stephon Marbury, Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway, Moochie Norris, coach Lenny Wilkens and Isiah Thomas, president of basketball operations. These moves may seem to be just average deals, yet when it is considered that the thing the Knicks have been missing the most in their recent string of futile years is a point guard, the addition of Marbury is a bold one.
New president Thomas, recently acquired himself, added Marbury to the mx within two weeks of his being in a blockbuster trade that included trading away superstar, but underperformer, Antonio McDyess. Marbury came from the Phoenix Suns along with Hardaway, and both have already contributed significantly.
Thomas has made it clear that the Knicks don’t intend to be second-class citizens in the Eastern Conference, and his managerial moves have shown this to be the case. The Knicks are contending with the top in the East now.
Marbury has become a force, having multiple games with over 20 points and 10 assists. His leadership has improved and he has started to get into a rhythm with his new teammates, something that was missing in the first few games.
In a recent game against the Dallas Mavericks, the Knicks were down six points with nine seconds left. Marbury drew a foul on a three-pointer, made three free throws, stole the inbounds pass and found Allan Houston, who hit a three-pointer to tie the game. Plays like these have Knicks fans excited and back on the edge of their seats at Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks don’t seem to be done dealing either, as the trading deadline in mid-February still gives them a while to decide if they wish to pursue notorious bad boy Rasheed Wallace from the Portland Trailblazers.
The “jail blazers” have made it clear that almost everyone on their roster is available, for the right price, and the Knicks may just end up dangling Keith Van Horn or even Allan Houston for Wallace.
Whatever happens, the Knicks have made moves to assure they won’t be forgotten anytime soon. Thomas has made it clear that he intends to not just compete but win. He won’t settle for being the second-best team in the tri-state area.
With a ton of season left to be played all eyes are back on the Big Apple and their “son” Marbury the only question that remains - can he bring back the magic that once made the Garden so special?